Sneak Peek!!

19 Feb

I have been busting my booty to get a lot of layouts done in my cookbook (I want to have a large portion, as in most of, my book done by spring break. Spring break countdown: T-minus 14 days). Here are some screen shots of a couple of layouts, have a sneak peek at what I have been up to!! By the way, graduation countdown: T-minus 70 days.

My moms salsa recipe, I should blur the type, because it is kind of top secret.

Christmas Butter cookies, even though I think they would be great for Valentines day too, but making them twice a year is just too much work!


Page Turners

16 Feb

So what have I been reading?! I am trying to read lots about food to keep my research for my senior project fresh and up to date. My sister recommended this book, and it is so on point with the research I am doing. I highly recommend Animal Vegetable Miracle to anybody interested in food, and where the heck it comes from! She explains how the role of the woman has changed and this influenced how we cook. The recipes that I have from my grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents, are from a time when the women’s role was to stay home and cook. When women got jobs in the work force (yipeee) we let the quality of food we eat slip, hello TV dinners (oh no…) This is a small portion of the book, but it put everything in perspective for me, why we eat the way we eat, and how America got here. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy that I get to work (as an equal with men), but I can’t let these recipes be forgotten! Kingsolver explains that cooking doesn’t take long and we can have our cake and eat it too! The main point of the book is Kingsolver and her family eats local food, only local food, for 1 year! They eat the food of their land and the book is the journey through the seasons, and how they survive.

Okay, so I won’t brag about this book anymore, I dote on Michael Pollan enough. But I would say my project is loosely based on his rule, “Don’t eat anything you grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” This is hard for me because I love many foods that I imagine my grandmother wouldn’t recognize (uh…chili cheese fritos? Or anything ending in ‘ito’ for that matter). Just read this book. okay? Watch Food Inc., just fall in love with this guy, you won’t regret it.

Stylish Blogger Award

11 Feb

I got an blog award today!!! (yipee!!) From an amazing blogger, Angie! Her blog is filled with information on how to live an earth friendly lifestyle! I love her funny stories about her adorable family, and great tips on easy things you can do to be kind of mother nature!

Look at how sparkly my award is 🙂

Here’s the blog award rules!

The rules:
1. Thanks and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3.Give the award to 15 other bloggers

About me:

1. I love learning how to cook new foods, and experiment with cooking my favorite meals dairy free.

2. I graduate undergrad in 78 days, not that I am counting.

3. I love doodling.

4. Don’t call me Mandy.

5. I’m drinking an Oatmeal Stout from the New Holland Brewery right now, and it is fantastic.

6. I love being organized, but I don’t have enough time to be hyper-organized.

7. I wish I had more time to read for fun, and exercise, maybe post graduation?!

And now my 15 favorite blogs!

1. Sew French, it’s my mom and she likes to cook too, and she gave birth to me.

2. Pioneer Woman, I want to be her when I grow up, I might have mentioned that before

3. Vegan Yum Yum, It’s a blog I just started reading, great photos and good recipes!

4. Tartelette, I want to be her when I grow up too

4. Tastespotting, it’s not really a blog, but rules are made to be broken.

5. Joy The Baker, she is so sweet!

6. Huffington Post, the most read blog, check out the food section

7. Bakers Royale, beautiful photos

8. A Cozy Kitchen, really cute food ideas

9. Foodie in Motion, Casey shares great smoothie recipes that have inspired me to make green smoothies a part of my life!

10. Fragrante Delicia, more great food photos!

11. Elyse Flynn, follow one of my classmates progress through her sr. show!

12. Mike Schulz, another classmate and his progress to our sr. show!

13. Design Sponge, I actually don’t read this blog because it just reminds me how little time I have for fun crafts!

14. Etsy, It’s not a blog but I can’t not mention it, it’s just too good.

15. Food Buzz, a great way to find new food blogs, it lists the top food blogs daily.

whoa, that is a lot of great blogs, you should click a few, you won’t regret it!


10 Feb

I went home today for a quick visit with my folks. While I was home I wanted to go through a lot of the old pictures my parents have, tucked away in boxes, and see what I could find. With my families help (my mom, dad, and grandpa) I got a lot of great information today. I plan to include some photographs in my cookbook. The cookbook is really a painting of my genealogy through food, and the photographs help to introduce the main characters. I found a treasure trove of photos, including this one, of a typical Thanksgiving spread at Grandma Ellis’s home (that would be my moms, moms, mom, or my great-grandma, famous for her chocolate gravy).

I found it really inspiring that someone took this food photography, way back then. That someone appreciated this home cooked meal enough to snap a picture and document the holiday. We don’t think much of taking a picture of our meals today, because with digital photography photos are of endless supply. But whoever took this photo used one of probably only twelve photos they had on the roll, so obviously this was of some importance to them. And of the other photos of family laughing and eating that day I appreciate this one, because it is a little glimpse into the food of our nations past. Notice the vegetables, they are probably all from their garden, canned during the summer just for this occasion. The food on the table all looks so familiar, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, but they way that it got to this table is probably more foreign to us then we can begin to imagine.

This photo is such a gem, and I can’t wait to find a way to incorporate it into my book.

Thanksgiving at Grandma Ellis's


9 Feb

Pioneer woman…YOU’RE KILLING ME!!! Type cookies!!! I mean, typography on COOKIES!! Why didn’t I think of this….ughhhh.

I mean it’s really all my favorite things combined. My type of dessert mixed with type, genius.

This is so cute, I can’t wait to make something these! Enough said.


Illustrating Food and Type

8 Feb

You might be wondering…what about the cookbook!? Well, it’s coming along…I am currently working on layouts, and illustrations. Here is a sneak peek at my sketchbook, these are some of the illustrations and type that might end up in the book!



Cooking Dairy Free

27 Jan

You’re probably wondering where the heck I have been!! I have had the flu all week, it’s just not winter until you get the flu! I haven’t felt like cooking, or eating much for that matter. But today I started to get hungry, and since it’s been blizzarding all week and I have been sick, soup seemed like the perfect meal!

My mom got this awesome cookbook for me for Christmas. It’s become my new favorite, the pages are already getting sticky fingerprints which is a tell tale sign that it’s a great cookbook. It’s a vegan cookbook, but don’t flip out! It’s not scary at all! The author uses really simple ingredients, things that I am able to find at my local produce section. People always assume things so quickly when they hear the word vegan, that it’s going to be rabbit food, and tofu. But this is so wrong! I’ve realized that cooking without dairy for me is a great challenge, it’s about finding a way to cook my favorite foods without dairy, but still have flavorful, creamy, rich meals. I’m not vegan, even though I don’t eat dairy (due to an allergy) and most meats, but vegan recipes are the easiest way for me to be inspired and not tempted by things like cheese, and well…cheese. (It’s been a difficult break up, but we are moving on, we’re seeing other people). Oh, and did I mention that the cookbook is organized by color!! Because we all know we need to eat more colorful food! It’s good recipes and it’s well designed, what else do you need? And no, the author isn’t paying me to brag, it’s just a cookbook I really believe in.

I made two recipes out of this cookbook today, the first is a butternut squash soup. I thought this would be great for curing the flu because it has tons of onion, ginger, and garlic, wonderful for knocking a cold right out of ya! This soup is super easy, you just roughly chop up all your ingredients (which I love, you don’t have to spend a lot of time chopping), boil, and puree. The ingredients were simple, onion, garlic, ginger, potato, squash, o.j., and vegetable broth. And it’s rich and creamy, almost like a cream based soup!

The soup & the book!

The second recipe I made was a blueberry breakfast bar. Delicious granola like bar with gooey blueberry raspberry filling. Luckily I have some frozen blueberries from this summer! Also contains flaxseed, a ingredient I am trying to start to cook with more! Tip: I ground up some flaxseed (it’s nutrients more effective if the shells are broken) and put the leftovers in shaker container that I store in my freezer. This way I have no excuse not to shake some flax seed on all my meals.


Even though this blog is about me trying to accurately cook my way through my family history I sometimes cheat. (gasp!) I am guilty of substituting cream and butter with dairy free options (vegan butter, and almond milk mainly). Feel free to experiment with substitutions, there is no law that says family recipes have to remain exactly the same, nobody will notice if you use almond milk and lemon juice instead of buttermilk in grandmas biscuits, so why not do it, if it means a healthier you! (and remember, when you are sick it is best to stay away from dairy anyway!)